tv The Daily Rundown MSNBC January 18, 2012 9:00am-10:00am EST
shouldn't be for the wrist, for the eye. >> and 5:30 a.m. on friday, way too early for the millshouse. and governor christie at this moment would rather be general manager for the mets than president of the united states. >> a pretty smart guy. >> it's "morning joe." see you tomorrow morning in south carolina. stick around for chuck. fresh off a strong debate performance and that standing ovation, newt gingrich sees a path to win right here in south carolina. if only he could get rick santorum and rick perry to get out, which is what he's asking them to do. you can only guess what they think about that idea. in wisconsin, recall organizers angry at governor scott walker for last year's fight against public sector unions, they submitted 1 million signatures, nearly double what they needed to force a recall election. talk about a late spring
political battle of the year. it's silicon valley against hollywood with congress caught in the middle. want to learn how websites are protecting proposed anti-piracy legislation, don't bother trying wikipedia today. wednesd wednesday, january 18th. in south carolina, three days to go before the primary, let's get right to my first reads of the morning. call it newt-mentum. newt has called south carolina the last chance to stop romney from clinching the nomination. there are signs romney is watching his back since newt led the field in december and there holding a newt-conference call this morning. after a strong debate performance, newt is feeling his oats and last night, renewing his attack on bain. >> i think it's exploitive.
not defensible. notice he doesn't try to defend it. he hasn't brought up a single one of these companies. i'm proud of real capitalists but not particularly proud of people that go in, leverage the game, walk in, leave the debt behind and walk off with all the profits? i'd be glad to debate romney anywhere in the country. >> and newt got into this debate with rick santorum. >> you look at the polling, i'm the only conservative who realistically has a chance to be the nominee. any vote for santorum or perrine effect is a vote to allow romney to become the nominee. >> let me see, who won? who finished ahead of who in iowa? that would be me. congressman gingrich finished, what was it, fourth, in new hampshire? let me see. yeah, i finished fourth ahead of congressman gingrich who finished fifth even though he had the manchesterer endorsement. i think it's an enormous amount
of hubris for someone who lost the races. these are character issues. >> last night, newt got a nod from an endorser and his campaign is calling it a call to arms. >> if i had to vote in south carolina, in order to keep this thing going, i'd vote for newt and i would want this to continue, more debates, more vetting of candidates. >> you clearly sense that gingrich feels like he's got momentum. the romney campaign believes gingrich has some momentum. it's a game of math and we will break it down in a few minutes in terms of what is a winning number in south carolina. under growing pressure from his republican rivals to release his tax return, mitt romney ended the will he or won't he speculation sort of. >> the tradition has been the nominee releases his tax returns in tax season in april. i know that if i'm the nominee, people want to see the most recent year rather than have multiple releases of tax
returns. we'll wait until the tax returns for the recent year are completed and then release them. >> and romney spoke for the first time about what his tax rate is for the last few years. >> what's the effective rate i've been paying? it's probably closer to the 15% rate than anything because my last ten years, i've -- my income comes overwhelmingly from investments. i've got a little bit of income from my book but i gave that all away. then i get speakers' fees from many time-to-time but not very muc much. >> not very much. we report romney made more than $374,000 from speeches in the last year, not very much. by the way, the president reported paying an effective federal tax rate of 26% on his 2010 family income, notably, from the briefing room, the white house podium yesterday, the white house press secretary tried to make an issue of
romney's tax return. >> it is an established tradition for presidential candidates to release their tax recor records. then senator obama did release multiple years of his tax records and obviously has released his tax records and president george w. bush, president clinton, nominees for each party, for years and years. i think it was a tradition initiated by then presidential candidate george romney in 1968, released 12 years of tax records. >> it's notable for a couple of things. number one, you hear the obama white house talking about george romney, mitt's father, who did release 12 years of tax returns. the second is, this is the first most direct engagement the white house has made of the presidential candidates, of mitt romney, from the white house briefing room, carney, before, had made this decision, say, well, when you ask him a campaign question, ask the campaign, not going to get into
presidential politics now. not so much. here's why. finally, for the first time, president obama's re-election campaign is requesting ad rates for a potential and significant tv ad buy in key battleground states, also on the re-election state, arizona, michigan and minnesota are in this grouping. also, we learned a little bit more about this summer's democratic convention. it will be three days and not four. going to take place at charlotte's bank of america stadium, not exactly the name the obama campaign would like to have on all these programs, 73,000 seat venue is home to of the carolina panthers. as the president prepares for his third state "state of the u address, next week, a new "washington post" poll shows americans are divided over his record and deeply pessimistic about the economic recovery. more than half, 52% say obama has accomplished not much, little or nothing as president. over 9% believe the economic recovery has been strong and by
a 2-1 margin, they say they are worse off than believe they are better off financially. a couple notes on the convention. by the way, now that we've gone from four to three, political conventions probably starting in 2016 will never be four days again, number one. the tv ad rate, this would be the earlier than president bush in his re-election or bill clinton although you can argue bill clinton did do some testing of tv ads back in '95, when they were having the budget shutdown and you can argue whether those were campaign ads, a very early engagement but everything about this campaign has been early. nearly a dozen rallies and town halls are scheduled in south carolina today as candidates make their pitch to voters with just three days to go. peter alexander joins me now. peter, set the stage for what we expect to see today. >> chuck, as we stand behind us, you see this beautiful columbia
statehouse. this was built by james hobin, the same man who designed the white house and mitt is hoping this will be his path to the white house, one step closer to being the gop nominee. as we witnessed on the ground again yesterday, there is a new swell of momentum supporting newt gingrich in this state. i spoke to one south korea vocat that event that was unusually small said she was impressed with newt gingrich in the debate this week and here to hear mitt romney, says he looks electable, looks presidential but i still really like newt. that ignores the fact rick santorum has said he's not going anywhere right now, being pretty combative with his language, not just the president, new ads coming on the air -- against mitt romney, excuse me, also against gingrich you played just a short time ago, rick santorum yesterday for one of the few times in this campaign cycle,
charter a jet so he could make five separate spots across the state, literally ditching the media as he went from one place to another and try to see as many people and get as much attention as he can. >> sounds like santorum is a little overscheduled. by the end of the day, he seemed a little tired and weary. mitt romney's only event in south carolina yesterday, they really wanted to make a huge deal out of it. you had warned us saying, hey, they may drive the campaign bus into the facility. what happened? >> it's a good question. we stood there, we were waiting for this. mitt romney's advance team even told us the bus would be rolling in, this wasn't something speculating, was communicated to us. an hour later with a small crowd, they delayed the event, 10, 15, 20 minutes, before the event began to try to fill the room up and i spoke to individuals in the back of the room, hey, when he does show up,
if you can push forward, we're trying to make the room look more crowded, their words, not mine. and you can get autographs. the bus never rolled in at all, and the other gathered media, we me messed up, filled it up with gas and too dangerous to roll in there and i think a lot of people found that to be a little suspect. >> i will pass you somewhere along the highways today. no speeding tickets, my friend. thank thanks. >> mitt romney's team is counting on the rest of the field splitting a big chunk of vote here to clear a path for victory. take a look at these numbers. let's assume rick santorum gets 15% and ron paul picks up 12%. rick perry, 8%. we have three other names on the ballot. bachmann, cain, huntsman, maybe they get another 5%.
that's 40% of the pie thrown away, leaves 60% of the vote between mitt romney and newt gingrich, if that's the percentage up for grabs, romney's winning number could be as low as 31%. okay. a game of math right now, it seems, as far as the romney campaign is concerned. >> very much so. similar to what john mccain was doing four years ago, hoping there would be a split among his rivals, which there was. he won with 33%, mike huckabee came in second with 30%, destroyed his chances of becoming an effective contender. i think romney is hoping for the same kind of thing. any victory will be a good victory they will trumpet and take it. >> eight votes would be good. >> landslide, romney. newt gingrich and rick santorum, their combined total is going to best mitt romney. that's pretty much a given. fair? >> absolutely. we keep coming back to the same
narrative. you can't escape it. that is this divided vote issue between santorum and newt and perry to a certain degree, whether or not that is the key for mitt. one of the reasons newt has a shot to win here, i'm not sure romney is as strong on the coach as mccain was four years ago. mccain had an important credential romney lacks, a veteran. >> big chunk of veterans. >> retired military on the coast. i'm not sure mitt will get quite the margin mccain had on the coast. if you were at the debate, there was strong support for newt, where mccain did very well four years ago. >> and 12 years ago. >> and 12 years ago. it's not just the coast, the margins on the coast that could be key for romney on saturday. >> dan, rick santorum, it seems, he gets this week evangelicals rallying around him, no evidence
here? are you seeing any evidence it's having an impact in south carolina? >> i've not seen any real evidence. what i've been struck with, santorum has had a couple of important moments. what happened in iowa was a big moment, not able to leverage that in any significant way in new hampshire or down here. now, he gets the treatment on saturday from social conservative leaders and he seems to have done nothing with it. not figured out a way to draw attention to it, add to it and build support. ion i don't know quite what his strategy is. >> where's the tv ad with that story, around the country conservatives are rallying around him and we haven't seen this. >> and a couple times yesterday, mitt romney kept reminding people rick santorum was catholic. -- perry kept reminding people
santorum was catholic. >> i don't think it was an accident. to me, perry could play an important role. probably won't win south carolina, the difference between perry getting 5% and 10%, could be the difference between romney winning and newt winning. >> rick perry seems more comfortable here than anywhere we've seen him campaign. he's in an environment in which he feels at ease. you can see that and feel that. >> in the barbecue belt. >> that helps. i know that's why you're -- >> absolutely. there's so many -- >> the best one? >> the newest in columbia, dock's barbecue and scotts in hemingway and sweatman's in holly hill. hopefully have time here friday, saturday to check them out. >> thank you both. up next, we will get the democratic take on the race here in south carolina with former governor jim hodges.
still ahead, convincing conservatives, rick perry is counting on them to somehow make a comeback in south carolina. will his thinly veiled swipes, if you want to call them that, at rick santorum's catholic faith get him there or does that turn them away. >> full disclosure, the richest guy running for president, should mitt romney release his tax returns sooner than later and go back ten years? a look at the president's schedule, you're watching "the daily rundown". -i love this card. -with the bankamericard cash rewards credit card, we earn more cash back for the things we buy most. it's 1% cash back everywhere, every time. 2% on groceries. 3% on gas. automatically. no hoops to jump through. that's 1% cash back on oscar. ...tony. oscar! 2% back on whatever she'll eat. 3% back on filling up this baby. [ male announcer ] now get 1-2-3 percent cash back.
here in south carolina, it's all coming down to electability. that's what mitt romney hopes. his super pac started to make the case that romney's rivals just can't win. listen to this one that goes after rick santorum. >> rick santorum's been in washington so long, he's called the ultimate washington insider. santorum voted to raise the debt limit five times and for billions in wasteful earmarks. >> joining me now, former democratic governor of south carolina, governor jim hodges. you get to play observer. you're watching all this, you live here, have friends on both sides of the aisle. this electability issue, enough to propel romney? >> no. i don't think so. i think he will likely win, chuck, the primary here, because the field is so weak, but the electability issue is one i think is not going to be compelling of a long term for
voters. i just don't sense the energy that i saw both with the reagan candidacy and with obama and with bush. it's just not there. i think that's ultimately romney's problem, is the voter are just not in love with mitt romney here. >> what is -- one thing about -- and again, i'm asking you to play observer here, one thing about the south carolina republican party, it's very factlized. i haven't seen that play itself out in this primary the way we have particularly in 2000 and in past years in 2008. not seeing that this time. why is that? >> i don't think there is any particular candidate that appeals to one faction or the other. you have a number trying to appeal to the social conservatives, none of them have done a particularly good job. you have romney trying to appeal to the business base of the republican party. i think the number of candidates you have -- you have out there has made it difficult for one to zero in on a particular segment of the party.
as a result, they're all dispersed and divided. i think that benefits mitt romney. >> the strategic voter, how many of them exist in a primary? we keep hearing a lot of us folks that parachute in, south carolina wants to keep its reputation, as always voting for the eventual nominee. you buy it? >> i don't. i don't. part of why south carolina republicans have been successful, they have been third in the process, they allowed iowa and new hampshire to weed out candidates. it's always down and the candidate with the momentum coming out of new hampshire normally is the one that wins in our state. i don't think there are a lot of strategic voters. i don't think there are a whole lot that wake up saying, which one can beat barack obama. i think they want a candidate they feel strongly about, they connect to. with mitt romney's problems with tax returns yesterday and bain capital, i don't think he really connects with south carolina voters. >> if i told you the first candidate to play the faith
card, talk about somebody's faith, was going to be somebody talking about rick santorum's catholicism and not mitt romney's faith, you would have called me crazy, right? >> i would have called you crazy. i'd be very surprised. >> the whole supposed mormon issue, it feels like it's a dog that hasn't bit. >> look, people aren't focused on that. people are worried about jobs. we have one of the higher unemployment rates in the country, have had going back a decade. they're focused on economic improvement and making education better. they just aren't going to buy into that during this election cycle. some republican candidates and people who try to play that up are making a mistake. that's the thing i like about what obama does. he stays focused on economic opportunity and how we can move our country forward, the middle class, those sort of things voters care about. i think that's the winning message. >> i want to talk about south carolina as a general election state. we know it's not really in play.
this state more than any other feels a little more racially polarized. is that fair? >> i don't know it is necessarily more racially polarized than others. sometimes during campaigns, things are said that crea create -- lend the impression there's greater racial polarization. i've been concerned for a long time we have an electorate, increasingly republicans voting 70, 45% and african americans voting democrat 90%. what we need are consists on both sides of a broad multi-coalition to be successful, as a state and country we have to have multiracial appeal of candidates to do that. that's what i love about obama. i think he does appeal to a multi-racial coalition. >> four years ago, lindsey graham was warning people, watch out, obama might be able to actually make south carolina co competitive. turned out mccain won the state by double digits. why was there that feeling?
>> let's look at the history. the truth is obama did dramatically better than both al gore did and john kerry did. he probably did about 10 points better than they did, without spending much money here. i think part of the problem, chuck, for democratic candidates is that they don't invest enough time in south carolina. they could do better here. let's face it, we are a state with a very high unemployment rate. economic messages, education messages work here and i think that's what the democrats need to focus on. >> one of the more polarizing divisive issues is this flag in front of us, sits on the capitol grounds, was an enormous controversy a week and a half. you don't hear about it anymore but it's still sitting there. how long is it going to sit there? >> i was governor when we were able to move it from the dome to the confederate monument. it took a yeoman's effort
african-americans and whites to make that happen. i think with time, you will see the flag moved away from that spot, too. the interest in that issue diminishes every year. i think south carolina changes every year in a good way. i do believe you will see the flag moved. will it be next year? probably not? but in this decade. >> former democratic governor, jim hodges, thanks for stopping by. another beautiful day. why do we do this only in iowa and new hampshire? days like this. a check of what's moving the markets ahead of the opening bell. i will pass the baton a little bit to mr. russert sitting in the studio. trivia question. who was the first u.s. senator elected by a write-in vote. the first correct answer gets a follow-up wednesday. i throuew in a y'all there. less than 12 hours and i'm
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we're back live in columbia, south carolina. republicans vote in the first in the south. from live in washington to check on everything else, mr. russert, take it away. >> good morning, chuck. the dow is set to open at its highest level in nearly six months. where do we go from here? cnbc becky joins me, is it on the up and up? >> luke, that is a very good question. it did look higher until a few minutes ago, anything could happen at this point. we have seen it bouncing around. as you mentioned, it looks as if it could open at the highest levels we have seen in quite some time. all in all, it has been a very strong start to the year. the first 2 1/2 weeks in january have been very good to the stock market. we have a few pieces of
information the market is mulling over today. we did get numbers showing producer prices actually dropped by 0.1%. if producers are paying less to produce these things, it means you will not be paying higher increases for goods you're buying off the shelf down the road. that's one good piece of information and we got industrial production numbers that showed it was up by 0.4% and 78.1%, that's a great number, the highest number we've seen since 2008. >> that's great. .04% growth and industrialization in the u.s., we'll take anything we can get at this point. thank you. "the daily rundown" will be back in 30 seconds. do not go anywhere.
other stories making headlines, the captain of a grounded italian cruise ship is out of police custody under house arrest today as divers suspended the search for missing passengers. rough seas forced the divers to suspend their underwater search after the boat started to shift. so far, 11 people are confirmed dead and 28 others still missing. wisconsin voters turned in a million signatures to recall republican governor, scott walker tuesday. the state election board must verify the signatures before it can move forward with an election. the earliest possible date would be sometime this spring. google, wikipedia, and other
major websites are protesting a congressional bill that aims to protest against online piracy that forces online company to stop access to websites that have stolen content such as movies, books or tv shows. protesters say it would stifle innovation and restrict the free flow of information. congress was expected to pass legislation without much debate, however, they are now reassessing how to go forward. a smoke bomb was thrown over the white house fence last night. the incident happened after a rally by occupy d.c. protesters. president and mrs. obama were not at the white house at the time and no arrests have been made. now, back to chuck in south caroli carolina. >> all right. now to the game in south carolina, we have mr. weinberg
-- mrs. weinberg to break this down. it's still pretty meaningful. romney, gingrich, fair to say they have the two biggest organizations? >> i would say gingrich has the biggest organization in terms of manpower. his staff is 12 or 13 but largely made some new to south carolina politics activists -- >> imported from georgia? >> no. not so much imported from georgia, a lot from south carolina, one in the upstate is a recent state representative. a couple consultants from the greenville area in the upstate and activists from the midlands working as his field staff. ey're very passionate and committed but not a lot of experience. >> you're speaking south carolina speak, which i love. we should talk about this a little bit with the different votes. we talked about where the military veterans are, known as the low country where most of the non-native south carolinians live, that's where we expect romney to do well.
what you were describing, greenville, spartanburg area, that's where gingrich has to do well, is that fair? >> yeah. that's where a lot of socially conservative votes are, not to mention, some of the most voter rich counties in the state, spartanville, pickens, greenville, as well as a very big business community. >> the nikki haley endorsement obviously came with an organization. how good is that for romney? >> i think it helps him on a national scale to a very great extent. she has a very high profile with the tea party throughout the country. >> questionable here? >> she still retains support from tea partiers here and got a big applause but within columbia, not so much. >> quickly, santorum and paul. >> rick santorum has very devoted people on his team. gresham barrett, popular
candidate. been on his side from the beginning, got state-wide endorsements, a perry backer, brooms, a state senator and a lot of evangelical conservative vote here, wrapped up a lot of crisis abortion center -- crisis pregnancy center groups on his side. >> ron paul. >> not a lot of ground game but has very devoted supporters as well. he's been playing the game from the start inundating mailboxes with flyers from day one. >> good work. see you on the trail. again, no speeding tickets. evangelicals count for nearly 60% of the vote or could count for 60% of the vote here in south carolina come saturday, three days to go before the primary. romney's rivals are not being shy about sharing their personal beliefs. listen to rick perry at an evangelical conference dubbed
the response in greenville, south carolina. >> he desires not to -- for us to have a show of religion. his agenda is not a political agenda. he's smarter now. >> tony perkins is president of the family research council and he joins me now. mr. perkins, over the weekend, there was sort of bay cirkly an attempt to unite -- basically an attempt to unite social conservatives around rick santorum. three days later, it feels like it hasn't given santorum the bump organizationally and the momentum he needs here. are you concerned about this? >> no, chuck. i think what you will see, this plays out through the process. let me say, i have not or our organization, c 3 organization have not endorsed a candidate. this weekend, when i was speaking, i was speaking for the
group of evangelical social conservatives gathered in texas. they debated this process. in the end, they decided a super majority of those gathered decided to put their support behind rick santorum because he had a record of articulating the issues that were of concern to both social and economic conservatives and had a record of leading on those issues and felt the best reflected their views and values. as you pointed out, evangelical voters are a large portion of voters in south carolina. we'll see, come saturday, the overall effect. >> last night, rick perry, i talked about it earlier on the show, went specifically talking about rick santorum, making a case against him. he kept dropping the phrase, "good catholic" about rick santorum. not everybody read that as somehow a compliment. is catholicism still a problem
with some evangelicals down here? >> i don't think so. you know, i think that -- in fact j you look at rick perry. rick perry is a solid candidate in terms of where he comes from a values standpoint. a lot of these supporters were supporters of rick perry, would have liked to have seen rick perry do very well. i like rick perry and like rick santorum and michele bachmann. think they reflect the values and commitment of social conservatives on these issues. in the end, they felt rick santorum was the best to go forward based on his performance in iowa and continuing in this race. to take forward this message and this banner. that was the general consensus or super majority view reflected this past weekend there in texas. >> one of more item about this past weekend. james dobson, the founder of focus on the family issued a statement clarifying a report of what he said about speaker gingrich and his wife, calista,
not discounting what he was reported to have said in the meeting, he said, just as it is common knowledge speaker gingrich has been married three times discussed everyday on the campaign trail, it is known calista was his mistress for years. it is hardly new news. my comment was not intended to be hurtful or cruel just a fact. it was brought up at the meeting, still an issue of values voters and value voter leaders, is it not? >> quite frankly, i kind of missed those comments. it must have been so short it passed me by when he said that at the meeting. i don't think that's the big issue with newt gingrich. the evangelical and social conservatives and a lot of catholics reflected in this gathering as well. they understand forgiveness. i think newt gingrich's past or any candidate's past is their past. it's more the present. i think their concern is over
whether or not they're going to articulate and carry forward a true conservative agenda. there's concern newt gingrich might talk about some of these issues but even in recent times, he has not necessarily stayed true to that path of conservatism. in the end, though, the meeting on saturday and friday was not focused on the negatives of individual candidates, rather, the one they felt could best carry america forward and articulated a vision that could restore america to her greatness again. >> when is it time in your mind to rally around mitt romney? what does he have to do to get you comfortable to rally around him? >> well, i think we can -- it's not just me, the social conservative community. the conservative community as a whole. a lot of people think, well, is the inevitable so they're going to go along. this process is actually helpful
in strengthening candidates for a general election. i don't think it will be a cakewalk for a conservative candidate against barack obama. there is a unifying force. the group in texas was totally unified they felt conservatives can and must replace barack obama as president. you can't do that with a candidate who does not have the enthu enthusiastic support of conservatives. if mitt romney or whoever gets the nomination, they have to unify conservatives and have to have a strong platform and communicate that platform to a broad spectrum of conservatives across this country and convince them they mean what they say. that's going to be the critical point. >> tony perkins, head of the family research council. i have to leave it there. thanks for coming on as always. >> thanks. >> that does it for us here live in columbia, in front of the
state capitol. luke, it's all yours. >> taking the handoff in the end zone. >> first-up, the political panel, first, the white house soup of the day, cream of broccoli, not on a lot of folks' diet these days because it's fatty. you're watching "the daily rundown," only on nbc. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus presents: the cold truth. i have a cold. and i took nyquil but i'm still stubbed up. [ male announcer ] sorry, buddy. truth is, nyquil doesn't un-stuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. really? [ male announcer ] you need a more complete cold formula, like alka-seltzer plus liquid gels. it's specially formulated to fight your worst cold symptoms, plus relieve your stuffy nose. [ deep breath ] thank you! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth!
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mitt romney, easily worth more than $2.5 million talked for the first time tuesday about the tax rate he pays and his rivals pounced. >> what's the effective rate i've been paying? it's probably closer to the 15% rate than anything. i got a little bit of income from my book. but i gave that all away. then i get speakers' fees from time-to-time but not very much. >> we have a 15% flat tax, so this will be the mitt romney flat tax that all of americans can then pay the rate romney paid. think that's terrific.
>> clarence is a pulitzer winning columnist for the chicago tub boone and columnist and editorial writer for the "washington post" and liz, editor for the washington press. welcome. this is a great panel to have. i'd like to start out with mitt romney and the topic of his tax returns and his income. the gap that stood out to me there was saying $374,000 was not a lot of money. not very much. let's look at the screen. we have his speakers fees from 2010 to 2011. averages $41,592 per speech. a lot of folks around the country would be happy to have income from one speech. how hurtful do you think is the laugh at the end of this, the laugh after saying that number jumped out. >> let's not speak like we have envy here, my goodness, even if
we do. there is oldsmobile a gbviously incomprehension. people are hearing a guy for whom $40,000 is not that big of a deal, not that much money. there is a gap here between the way he looks at the world and the way the average working person will look at it. the biggest voting block is blue collar folks that don't have college degrees and the republican party has leaned on them heavily over the last few decades for their support. this really hurts mitt with that group. >> tie into what you wrote today about how mitt romney is sort of doubling down on the ryan budget, also increase defense spending. he, with his budget, would like to see substantial cuts to things like pell grants and food stamps. can the democrats effectively show he wants to have these massive cuts and tie in that $374,000 number? >> i think they can.
it's not an easy sound bite. there is a problem in the democratic party, reluctance to look too much with the welfare, for welfare opposed to helping the struggling middle class. but there is- >> food stamp president, as newt gingrich said. >> food stamp president. they want to target their argument not to what it would do to food stamps but the struggling middle class. can i say one thing about what i think is an even bigger gaffe, a pit tans on the speeches, ha-ha, which is this has been a really well run campaign. they've done a terrific job. how could they not have had a plan and understanding that, first of all, they were going to release their tax returns, they let themselves get beat up on it instead of getting it out, a plan for how they would unveil it and deal with this 15% effective tax rate he's paying. for a well run campaign, this is a disaster. >> this is a time mitt romney could literally wrap this up,
end the game, win south carolina, it's all over. seems when everything is going his way, he has these gaffes in what should be closing time. >> two things are happening, one, they knew they would have to have this argument. they would rather have it in april. he punted to april. they knew they would have to have this during the general election. it is an interesting time, right when he looks like he is, you know, in a very very strong position to win the nomination, does he make a misstep. it's pretty clear this was not a calculated step that he made. on the other hand, you also look at -- when you start to piece together where he has made these missteps over the last year, it has been a very well run campaign with the exception when mitt romney talks about his wealth. he is awkward. there is a tin ear thing that might be going on, he's not quite sure how to express. he's a wealthy guy -- >> worried about getting a pink
slip, the $10,000 debt. >> that's where the real danger is. not just in the primary, but more so in the general election. >> mccain, how many houses do you own. romney seemed to have four of those types of moments already. chris christie, who folks think might be the vp nominee, gave his possible partner some advice this morning. >> let's get the facts out there, see what the tax return said and i think everybody will know that the story's much adieu about nothing. if i were asked by governor romney, that's what i would urge him to do as well. >> we'll get to that on the other side of the break because first, we have a little bit of trivia time. we asked who was the first u.s. senator elected by write-in
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let's bring back our panel, clarence page, ruth marcus and liz. we left the break playing a clip of chris christie saying romney should get his tax returns out sooner rather than later. should he heed the advice of his possible running mate? >> he should. he needs to be as open as possible. he has not shown comfort talking about his wealth. it's like he has a mind set that is different from that of the average voter and he needs to be as candid about this and to show empathy with folks struggling
out there. >> i want to get to sarah palin, who is talking regards to newt gingrich and his performance in south carolina. let's run that. >> i do think that newt is the one that won the debate if you will because newt came out just like smokin' joe frazier. if i had to vote, i'd vote for newt and i'd want to this continue more debates, more vetting of candidates. >> there is a time when an endorsement would be a huge game changer in the race. >> as soon as she said she wasn't going to be in the race, i think the entire political class went okay, let's focus on the candidates who are. i also think this is probably as far as she's going to go and i would be surprised if she said i'm going to endorse somebody. remember, she's very polarizing
and i think she's mindful of that. >> ruth, we have to go to shameless plugs. one second in on palin and then plug something. >> palin -- >> shameless plugs. >> you already plugged my poem, so i'll -- thank you so much and my colleague matt miller has an interesting piece online about how george romney, mitt's father, handled issues of wealth much more -- and disclosure, more effectively than his son. >> i want to say happy birthday to my 6-year-old niece. >> clarence? >> wikipedia for the protest. i think it's going to change some votes. >> that's it for this edition. i'm luke russert here in washington, d.c. chuck will be back in south carolina tomorrow. among his guests, mitt romney and supporter -- tim pawlenty. coming up next on msnbc, chris
jansing and company, chris talks what's next for congress with ohio congressman, dennis kucinich and at 1:00 p.m., "andrea mitchell reports." and tap into the power of revolutionary mobile apps to trade wherever. whenever. life isn't fully experienced sitting idly by. neither is investing. [ birds chirping ]